Skyhorse Publishing

Skyhorse Publishing
Founded 2006
Founder Tony Lyons
Country of origin United States
Headquarters location New York City

Perseus Books Group (United States, United Kingdom)

Thomas Allen & Son (Canada)
Key people Tony Lyons (President and Publisher)
Publication types Books
Imprints Allworth Press, Arcade, Sky Pony, Sports Publishing, Yucca Publishing, Carrel Books, Talos Press, Night Shade Books, Good Books, Hot Books, Racehorse Publishing, Clydesdale Press, Seahorse Press
Number of employees 93 (as of September, 2016)
Official website

Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. is an American independent book publishing company founded in 2006. Headquartered in New York City, its distributor is Perseus Book Group.


The current president and publisher is founder Tony Lyons, former president and publisher of Lyons Press till 2004, who named it after Brando Skyhorse, an editor at the company.[1] As noted by Publishers Weekly, "Skyhorse's list will have some similarities to the old Lyons Press, with books on sports, flyfishing, nature and history a central part of Skyhorse's publishing program. The list includes narrative nonfiction, military history, gambling and business titles. In addition, [Tony] Lyons intends to bring back 'forgotten classics.'"[1]

Growth and expansion

In 2010, Skyhorse acquired Arcade Publishing with its portfolio of 500 titles,[2] as well as another 300 titles through the acquisition of Allworth Press.[3] Skyhorse also announced the acquisition of Sports Publishing with its 800 titles, and the launch of a children's and young adult imprint called Sky Pony Press.[4] By 2011, Skyhorse grew "from one imprint to five, and from eight employees to more than 40,"[5] The company "entered a three-year, 30-book licensing agreement with Norstedts of Sweden to acquire world English rights to a range of titles on crafts, health, fitness and cooking."[5] At this point, Publishers Weekly listed Skyhorse Publishing as one of the fastest-growing independent presses.[6]

Skyhorse added 250 new titles to its catalog with its acquisition of science-fiction and fantasy publisher Night Shade Books in 2013.[7] Also, that year Skyhorse announced the launch of the new imprint, Carrel Books, catering to the library market with books on medicine/health, history, biography/memoir, business/careers, among others.[8] In 2014, Skyhorse partnered with Perseus Books Group to acquire the assets of Good Books. While Perseus retained the Mayo Clinic line of health books from the Good Books catalog, Skyhorse obtained all other books assets, including the New York Times Bestselling Fix-It and Forget-It series.[9] Another Skyhorse imprint, Talos Press published its first book in 2014. And in partnership with the literary agency, International Transactions, Skyhorse launched the new imprint, Yucca Publishing, featuring "both new and established authors who have 'intent, literary strength, and fresh, new visions."[10]

In May 2015, partnering with David Talbot, founder and former editor-in-chief of Salon, Skyhorse launched the investigative book imprint Hot Books.[11] Hot Books’ first title, released September 2015, The Beastside: Living (and Dying) While Black in America, is written by D. Watkins, who in an interview with Fresh Air host Terry Gross on NPR recounts harrowing stories of growing up in East Baltimore.[12]

Skyhorse announced that it will be starting a new division in 2016 called Racehorse Publishing that will publish a range of categories, including promotional titles, instant books, and classic works of literature. The promotional line is to be released under the new Clydesdale Press imprint. Another new imprint, Seahorse Press, will publish books on boating, sailing and sea adventures.[13]

Revenues are expected to rise 30% to about $43 million in 2015 over the 2014 fiscal year, with e-book sales up 23% through the third quarter of 2015, compared to the same period in 2014. To manage close to 1,000 titles that it stands to publish in 2016, Skyhorse increased staff from 56 to 81 in 2015. According to publisher, Tony Lyons, going after specialty customers and big publicity hits is a priority for 2016.[14]

Skyhorse Publishing marked its 10th Anniversary in September 2016, posting revenue of more than $43 million for 2015, and having a backlist of 6,000 titles. With 93 people now on staff, the company plans to release 900 books in 2017 through its 14 imprints. Practical books for sports lovers, gardeners, cooks and gamers, etc., sold over 3,000,000 copies in total during 2015 and are expected to sell even more in 2016. Adult coloring books, first introduced in May 2015, have sold over 4,000,000 copies.[15]

Notable books and authors

In 2008, Skyhorse published the erotic travelogue Around the World in 80 Lays, by Joe Diamond, writer for Playboy TV's travel series Sexy Things to Do Before You Die.[16] Skyhorses's 41st bestseller "Defeating ISIS: Who They Are, How They Fight, What They Believe" by Malcolm Nance, debuts as #9 on the New York Times e-book bestseller list, July 3, 2016.[17]

As of September 2016, the company has published 45 New York Times Best Sellers, as can be found combing the New York Times Best Seller Lists.[18] Notable among these are A Man Called Intrepid, American Conspiracies, Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook, Gameknight999 Series, Man Who Killed Kennedy.[19][20][21][22][23] Recent best sellers include Kitty Genovese, Hands of War, Secrets of the Notebook, Search for Anne Perry, Surgeon in Blue, Spymistress.[24][25][26][27][28] and Framed: Why Michael Skakel Spent Over a Decade in Prison for a Murder He Didn't Commit by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., arguing that Skakel is not guilty of the Murder of Martha Moxley for which he was convicted in 2002 but released pending a new trial in 2013.[29]

Skyhorse has also published the works of four Nobel Prize Novelists, including: Samuel Beckett, Octavio Paz,[30] Ivo Andric and Mo Yan,[31] who won the Prize in 2012,[32] as well as by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel.[30]

The book, The Walk by Philippe Petit, about his daring walk between the NYC World Trade Center Towers, released by Skyhorse on July 21, 2015,[33] based on a major motion picture also titled The Walk directed by Robert Zemeckis and released on September 30, 2015.[34] On September 16, 2016, Skyhorse released the official motion picture tie-in book Snowden, timed to the release of the Oliver Stone film by the same name.[35]

Skyhorse has published thirty-five titles about the assassination of John F. Kennedy,[36] including many promoting conspiracy theories.[37][38] The company was reported to have invested $1 million on acquisition, printing and marketing for the publication of eight new books on the subject in 2013; as well as $300,000 to $400,000 on the reprints of seventeen others.[38] Authors on the subject published or re-published by Skyhorse include Richard Belzer,[36][38] Gaeton Fonzi,[36] Jim Garrison[38] Mark Lane,[38] Peter Dale Scott,[38] Roger Stone,[36] Jesse Ventura,[36] and Harold Weisberg.[36]



  1. 1 2 Milliot, Jim (22 Sep 2006). "Lyons Forms Skyhorse Publishing". Publishers Weekly. 253 (38). Retrieved January 11, 2012.
  2. "Skyhorse Takes Arcade for $548,000", Publishers Weekly, July 27, 2010, retrieved July 17, 2015
  3. Millot, Jim. "Skyhorse Buys Allworth Press", Publishers Weekly, November 19, 2010, retrieved July 17, 2015
  4. Deahl, Rachel. "Skyhorse Acquires Sports Publishing Assets; Launches Children's Imprint", Publishers Weekly, December 28, 2010, retrieved July 17, 2015
  5. 1 2 "Skyhorse Publishing, Sweden's Norstedt Ink Licensing Pact", Publishers Weekly, October 13, 2011, retrieved July 17, 2015
  6. "Fastest-Growing Small Presses, 2011". Publishers Weekly. 7 Mar 2011.
  7. "Skyhorse, Start Complete Acquisition of Night Shade", Publishers Weekly, June 04, 2013, retrieved July 17, 2015
  8. "Skyhorse Announces New Library Focused Imprint", Publishers Weekly, October 23, 2013, retrieved July 17, 2015
  9. "Skyhorse and Perseus Partner to Acquire Good Books' Assets", Press Release, October 02, 2014, retrieved July 17, 2015
  10. "Skyhorse Launches New Imprint, Yucca", Publishers Weekly, January 06, 2014, retrieved July 17, 2015
  11. Fialkoff, Francine. "Skyhorse, Salon Join Forces on 'Hot Books'", Library Journal, July 06, 2015, retrieved July 17, 2015
  12. "baltimore-author-discusses-living-and-dying-while-black", "NPR" October 1, 2015, retrieved October 13, 2015
  13. Milliot, Jim. "Partnerships, New Hires Boost Skyhorse Publishing", Publishers Weekly, November 20, 2015, retrieved December 01, 2015
  14. Milliot, Jim. "Partnerships, New Hires Boost Skyhorse Publishing", Publishers Weekly, November 20, 2015, retrieved December 02, 2015
  15. Milliot, Jim. "Skyhorse Publishing: From Zero to $40 Million in 10 Years", Publishers Weekly, September 09, 2016, retrieved September 17, 2016
  16. "The New E- in Erotica". Retrieved 2015-10-23.
  17. , New York Times, E-book Best Seller List, July 3, 2016, retrieved June 26, 2016
  18. , New York Times, Best Seller Books Overview, retrieved July 17, 2015
  19. , New York Times, December 02, 2013, retrieved October 27, 2015
  20. , New York Times, May 05, 2010, retrieved October 27, 2015
  21. , New York Times, January 12, 2003, retrieved October 27, 2015
  22. , New York Times, February 08, 2015, retrieved October 27, 2015
  23. , New York Times, December 08, 2013, retrieved October 27, 2015
  24. , New York Times, September 21, 2014, retrieved July 17, 2015
  25. , New York Times, June 07, 2015, retrieved July 17, 2015
  26. , New York Times, January 04, 2015, retrieved July 17, 2015
  27. , New York Times, June 14, 2015, retrieved July 17, 2015
  28. , New York Times, November 01, 2014, retrieved October 23, 2015
  29. , New York Times, September 2016, retrieved September 17, 2016
  30. 1 2 Yin, Maryann. "Skyhorse Publishing Buying Backlist", "Publishers Weekly", January 9, 2012, retrieved July 17, 2015
  31. Milliot, Jim. "Yan’s Nobel a Win for Arcade, Skyhorse", Publishers Weekly, October 19, 2012, retrieved July 17, 2015
  32. , retrieved October 25, 2015
  33. , retrieved July 17, 2015
  34. , Movie Insider, retrieved July 17, 2015
  35. , retrieved September 17, 2016
  36. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Birnbaum, Robert (November 18, 2013). "JFK Is Still Dead: Another Historiographical Moment". Virginia Quarterly Review. Charlottesville, Virginia. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
  37. David Corn, Trump's No. 1 Booster Goes Real Dirty to Attack the Clintons: With his new book and video project, can Roger Stone get any lower?, Mother Jones (September 18, 2015)
  38. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Trachtenberg, Jeffrey A. (June 2, 2013). "For JFK Authors, the Truth Is, Conspiracy Theories Sell Lots of Books". The Wall Street Journal. New York City. Retrieved December 15, 2014.

External links

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